Pirate Planet

May 10, 2009

Rampant Piracy Will Be The Kindle DX’s Savior

The Kindle DX changes that. Just find the book you want in PDF form, upload it to your Kindle over USB, and you’ve got a perfectly readable and convenient textbook. Sure, students will have to deal with the usability issues I raised above, like slow highlighting. But these books, frustrating as they might be, will be 100% free. That’s $300 per quarter in extra beer money. Most obstacles and morals fade quickly in the face of that much alcohol.

TechCrunch fills in the other part of the Kindle DX puzzle.

As soon as I knew the screen size, I immediately realized all the free eBooks that writers put out as PDFs will suddenly be worth getting, since the DX allows them to finally be read on a comfortable device.

But such freebies wouldn’t drive sales of a device such as the DX. Ripping people off would.

Amazon chose not to use Adobe DRM for PDFs. Adobe’s DRM is a very complex beast. Amazon’s DRM so far has not been and all current Kindle eBooks can be liberated for actual ownership.

And here’s the one Comment over there that summarizes everything:

Pirates always win. You’d think Microsoft with their huge amount of money would be able to stop piracy too. Hell, they have been in the software business a lot longer than Amazon and they still haven’t figured it out.

The one eBook file format that has not been cracked is Sony’s Broadband eBook (BBeB). If Sony does indeed release a Reader with a screen the same size as the DX, that might attract the skillz needed to finally make BBeB DRM fall.

What no one realizes is that the advent of digital goods requires a reformulation of economics. That will have to happen too.